Tanya Saracho to Make Film Directorial Debut with Adaptation of Her Off Broadway Play “Mala Hierba”

Tanya Saracho is in the (bad) weeds…

The Mexican-American actress, playwright, dramaturge, screenwriter and Vida creator is bringing her 2014 Off Broadway play Mala Hierba to the big screen, and she’ll be directing the film adaptation of her acclaimed project.

Tanya Saracho

In her film directorial debut, Saracho has teamed up with Anonymous Content to adapt the Texas border town set drama.

The film version of Mala Hierba  will be produced by AC Studios, with Dawn Olmstead, David Levine, and Whitney Dibo overseeing the project for outfit.

Former Vida EP Stephanie Langhoff, and Christine Davila, head of development and production at Saracho’s Ojala Productions, will serve as producers on Mala Hierba.

Originally opening at Second Stage Uptown nearly six years ago, the play unravels the coiffured life of a Lone Star State trophy wife who begins to see the cracks in her life of wealth and privilege as her first and perhaps true love reappears. The possibility of a renewed life together for the two women forces the Liliana character to make a searing decision about what she wants and who she is.

The stage production of Mala Hierba was directed by Jerry Ruiz and starred Marta Milans, Sandra Marquez, and Ana Nogueira in the primary roles.

The union with Anonymous comes just over a couple of weeks after the active Saracho launched the Ojalá Ignition Lab in conjunction with UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Part of the acclaimed playwright and filmmaker’s 2020 inked development deal with the studio, the incubator program for Latinx voices will provide five writers and their own proposed projects with mentoring from experienced showrunners and EPs, including self-described “den mother” Saracho and an extended network to draw on for the future.

Since Vida, which won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, finished its three-season stint on Starz in May 2020, Saracho stayed in Britain during the pandemic to work with musician and Lovesick actor Johnny Flynn for an upcoming project.

Netflix Releases Trailer for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Feature Directorial Debut “tick, tick…BOOM!”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is tickin’ ahead…

The first trailer has been released for tick, tick…BOOM!, directed by the 41-year-old Puerto Rican actor, singer, songwriter, rapper, director, producer, and playwright.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

It’s a film adaptation of Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical pre-Rent musical.

Starring Andrew Garfield in the Larson-inspired lead role, Netflix’s tick, tick…BOOM! will hit the streaming service and theaters this fall.

Garfield plays Jon, a young theater composer who’s waiting tables at a New York City diner in 1990 while writing what he hopes will be the next great American musical. As described by Netflix: Days before he’s due to showcase his work in a make-or-break performance, Jon is feeling the pressure from everywhere: from his girlfriend Susan (Alexandra Shipp), who dreams of an artistic life beyond New York City; from his friend Michael (Robin de Jesús), who has moved on from his dream to a life of financial security. Amidst an artistic community being ravaged by the AIDS epidemic, Jon feels the clock ticking and faces the question everyone must reckon with: What are we meant to do with the time we have?

Larson would not live to see the success of his “next great American musical,” dying at age 35 on January 25, 1996, the morning of Rent’s first Off Broadway preview. The cause of death was an aortic aneurysm caused by undiagnosed Marfan’s Syndrome.

The trailer begins with Garfield singing “Boho Days,” a song from the earliest incarnations of tick, tick…BOOM! It was the title song when Larson first performed the musical as a one-man show in 1990.

The film, which also stars Joshua Henry, MJ Rodriguez, Bradley Whitford, Tariq Trotter, Judith Light and Vanessa Hudgens, will mark Miranda’s feature directorial debut.

In 2001, Miranda, then 21, was writing In The Heights when he attended an Off Broadway revival of tick, tick…BOOM! In 2014, Miranda, who would later say that Rent inspired him to begin writing musicals, portrayed Jon in a two-week Encores! production of tick, tick…BOOM!

The film adaptation of Miranda’s In The Heights, directed by Jon M. Chu, hit theaters and HBO Max today.

John Leguizamo to Star in the Off Broadway Streaming Production of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”

There’s more waiting in John Leguizamo’s future…

The 56-year-old Colombian actor, stand-up comedian, producer, playwright and screenwriter will star opposite Ethan Hawke in an Off Broadway streaming production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, directed by Scott Elliott and premiering online on Tuesday, May 6.

John Leguizamo

The New Group production will co-star Wallace Shawn, Tarik Trotter and Drake Bradshaw.

Leguizamo will portray Estragon, Hawke will play Vladimir.

The production is the first in a new venture called The New Group Off Stage, from The New Group in association with John Ridley’s Nō Studios and Frank Marshall.

“This project is the epitome of what we mean by ’theatrical expressions in different media’: bringing together top tier artists across disciplines – film, television, stage, music – to collaborate in a hybrid, on-screen world, finding a way to make a play newly alive for themselves,” said Elliott, Artistic Director of The New Group. “It was a unique and singularly meaningful experience for all of us.”

The New Group describes the production as an “experimental exploration of a storied play” that “combines theatrical invention and innovative filmmaking.”

Waiting for Godot will be co-produced by MiLa Media, with production design by Derek McLane and costume design by Qween Jean. Director of Photography is Kramer Morgenthau.

Waiting for Godot will premiere online o Thursday, May 6 at 7:00 pm ET, and will be available to stream at www.thenewgroup.org.

Tickets can be purchased for 72-hour or seven-day rentals.

Ariana DeBose to Star in the Space Thriller “ISS”

Ariana DeBose has landed an out of this world role…

The 30-year-old half-Afro-Puerto Rican actress/singer has been cast in ISS, the space thriller from LD Entertainment and director Gabriela Cowperthwaite.

Ariana DeBose

DeBose joins previously announced stars Chris Messina and Pilou Asbaek, as well as John Gallagher Jr., Costa Ronin, and Masha Mashkova.

Nick Shafir wrote the screenplay, which was featured in the recent 2020 Black List. The plot follows six astronauts living aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and the actions they take after receiving distressing information from Earth that threatens their missions and their lives.

DeBose will play Kira Foster, a promising biological engineer and the newest arrival of six astronauts aboard the ISS.

Production is set to begin this month in Wilmington, NC.,

DeBose was most recently seen in Ryan Murphy’s all-star Netflix musicalThe Prom,

She also earned a Tony Award nomination in 2018 for her portrayal of Donna Summer in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical and was part of the Off Broadway cast of Hamilton.

Up next, she can be seen in the role of Anita for Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake.

Matthew Lopez’s “The Inheritance” Named Drama League’s Outstanding Play of the 2019-20 Theater Season

Matthew Lopez’s latest project is in a League of its own…

The 43-year-old Puerto Rican playwright and screenwriter’s two-part play The Inheritance was named the outstanding play of the 2019-20 theater season by New York’s Drama League.

Matthew Lopez

The 86th Annual Drama League Awards – announced virtually in lieu of an in-person gathering – covered the shortened theater season for both Broadway and Off Broadway.

The Inheritance opened at the Young Vic Theatre in London in 2018, before transferring to the Noel Coward Theatre in the West End. The production was directed by Stephen Daldry. The play premiered on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on September 27, 2019 in previews, with the official opening on November 17.

Set in New York three decades after the height of the AIDS epidemicThe Inheritance wrestles with what it means to be a gay man today, exploring relationships and connections across age and social class and asking what one generation’s responsibilities may be to the next. The play is a loose adaptation of E.M. Forster‘s novel Howards End.

Meanwhile, Moulin Rouge!, starring 43-year-old part Dominican & part Puerto Rican actress Karen Olivo, was named musical of the year.

Olivo stars as Satine in the musical, which is based on the 2001 film Moulin Rouge! It’s directed by Baz Luhrmann and written by Luhrmann and Craig Pearce.

Chosen by the Drama League’s nationwide organization of theater artists, industry professionals and audience members, this year’s award winners also include Moulin Rouge! actor Danny Burstein (Distinguished Performance Award); Broadway’s A Soldier’s Play (Outstanding Revival of a Play) and Off Broadway’s Little Shop of Horrors (Outstanding Revival of a Musical).

Previously announced special awards and honors went to director Marianne Elliott, playwright Terrence McNally, and director/playwright James Lapine.

Liza Colón-Zayas Wins Drama Desk Award for “Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven” Performance

It’s aheavenly weekend for Liza Colón-Zayas

The 65th Annual Drama Desk Awards honoring the best in New York theater were announced Saturday, with the 48-year-old Puerto Rican actress winning the Outstanding Actress in a Play prize.

Liza Colón-Zayas

Colón-Zayas won the Drama Desk award, the first of her career, for her acclaimed performance in Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven.  The play centers onthe harrowing, humorous, and heartbreaking inner workings of a women’s halfway house in New York City. It’s helmed by John OrtizLAByrinth Theater Company‘s artistic director, in his Off-Broadway directing debut.

Matthew Lopez is another first-time Drama Desk winner…

The 43-year-old Puerto Rican playwright and screenwriter.picked up the Drama Desk award for Outstanding Play for his hghly regarded work The Inheritance.

Inspired by the novel Howards End by E. M. Forster, the play premiered in London at the Young Vic in March 2018, before transferring to Broadway in November 2019.

Normally, the awards are announced at a gathering of theater artists and critics in New York City. But this year, the gathering was replaced by a pre-recorded ceremony because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The awards show had initially been scheduled to air May 31, but was postponed due to the Black Lives Matter protests in New York City.

The ceremony aired on NY1 and streamed on NY1.com and DramaDeskAwards.com. The Drama Desk Awards recipients were decided by theater critics, journalists, editors and publishers covering theater. 

Here’s the complete list of winners:

65th ANNUAL DRAMA DESK AWARD WINNERS:

Outstanding Play
The Inheritance, by Matthew Lopez 

Outstanding Musical
A Strange Loop, Playwrights Horizons/Page 73 Productions

Outstanding Revival of a Play
A Soldier’s Play, Roundabout Theatre Company 

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Little Shop of Horrors 

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Liza Colón-Zayas, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven 

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Larry Owens, A Strange Loop

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Adrienne Warren, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical 

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Paul Hilton, The Inheritance 

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Lois Smith, The Inheritance

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Christian Borle, Little Shop of Horrors

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill 

Outstanding Director of a Play
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Stephen Brackett, A Strange Loop

Outstanding Choreography
Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Music
Dave Malloy, Octet

Outstanding Lyrics
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop 

Outstanding Orchestrations
Tom Kitt, Jagged Little Pill 

Outstanding Music in a Play
Martha Redbone, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf 

Outstanding Scenic Design for a Play
Clint Ramos, Grand Horizons 

Outstanding Scenic Design for a Musical
Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Rachel Townsend and Jessica Jahn, The Confession of Lily Dare

Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical
Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play
Heather Gilbert, The Sound Inside

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical
Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Projection Design
Luke Halls, West Side Story

Outstanding Sound Design for a Play
Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid, The Inheritance 

Outstanding Sound Design for a Musical
Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Wig and Hair Design
Campbell Young Associates, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Outstanding Solo Performance
Laura Linney, My Name is Lucy Barton

Unique Theatrical Experience
Is This A Room, Vineyard Theatre

Outstanding Fight Choreography
Thomas Schall, A Soldier’s Play

Outstanding Adaptation
A Christmas Carol, by Jack Thorne

Trailer Released for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme” Documentary

Lin-Manuel Miranda is freestylin’…

The official trailer has been released for We Are Freestyle Love Supreme, the documentary about the 40-year-old’s improv hip-hop project.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

Before Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musicals Hamilton and In The Heights, the Mary Poppins Returns star, Christopher JacksonThomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale, among others, traded off-the-cuff rhymes the way Second City actors swapped jokes in their improv hip-hop group.

Created by Miranda, Kail and Veneziale in the summer of 2005, its beginnings on sidewalks and a small performing space at New York’s Drama Book Shop, the show would make the rounds Off Broadway, ever-changing, before landing on Broadway for an acclaimed and commercial successful run last year.

The show’s long journey is chronicled in filmmaker Andrew Fried’s documentaryWe Are Freestyle Love Supreme, premiering on Hulu on Friday, June 5. Fried’s camera captures the group reuniting for a series of shows in New York City that led to the Broadway engagement.

Appearing in the doc, which debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, are Miranda, Veneziale, Jackson, Kail, Arthur LewisUtkarsh AmbudkarChris SullivanBill ShermanJames Monroe Iglehart and Andrew Bancroft.

Raúl Esparza Among This Year’s Outer Critics Circle Awards Honorees

Raúl Esparza  is the (outer) critics choice

The 49-year-old Cuban American stage and television actor is among this year’s Outer Critics Circle Awards recipients, a collection of Broadway and Off Broadway ecipients that make up the organization’s first-ever slate of multiple honorees.

Raul Esparza

With the Tony Awards remaining a mere possibility this year, the 70th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards took a different approach to an unusual, pandemic-shortened theater season: Instead of selecting traditional nominees with one winner from each category, the OCCnamed five honorees in each of its technical categories and up to six honorees in the acting categories. 

Esparza was named one of the honorees in the Outstanding Actor in a Playcategory for his acclaimed performance in Seared.

Esparza’s Searedco-star Krysta Rodriguezwas one of the honorees in the Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play category.

Matthew Lopez’s The Inheritance picked up an honoree designation for Outstanding New Broadway Play.

The Puerto Rican playwright penned the two-part play, which is set in New York three decades after the height of the AIDS epidemic.

John Ortiz was one of the honorees in the Outstanding Director of a Play for helming Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, while one of the play’s stars, Liza Colón-Zayas, was named an Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play honoree.

Karen Olivo picked up an honoree designation for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her starring role in Moulin Rouge! 

Recalibrated to celebrate “widespread excellence in New York theater this season,” the OCC Awards – chosen by the official organization of writers on New York theatre for out-of-town newspapers and national publications – were announced by past honorees Kristin ChenowethBryan CranstonPatti LuPoneLin-Manuel Miranda, and Patrick Stewart.

The OCC is making a donation to The Actors’ Fundin support of its emergency relief efforts.

Here’s a look at the 2019-2020 Outer Critics Circle Award honorees:

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY

Grand Horizons
Written by Bess Wohl

The Height of the Storm
Written by Florian Zeller
Translated by Christopher Hampton

The Inheritance
Written by Matthew Lopez

Linda Vista
Written by Tracy Letts

The Sound Inside
Written by Adam Rapp

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL

Jagged Little Pill
Music by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard
Lyrics by Alanis Morissette
Book by Diablo Cody

Moulin Rouge!
Book by John Logan
Based on the 2001 Twentieth Century Fox Motion Picture written by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Book by Katori Hall
With Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY

Cambodian Rock Band
Written by Lauren Yee

Greater Clements
Written by Samuel D. Hunter

Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis

Make Believe
Written by Bess Wohl

Seared
Written by Theresa Rebeck

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL

Darling Grenadine
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Daniel Zaitchik

Octet
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Dave Malloy

The Secret Life of Bees
Book by Lynn Nottage
Music by Duncan Sheik
Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead
Based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd

Soft Power
Book and Lyrics by David Henry Hwang
Music and Additional Lyrics by Jeanine Tesori

A Strange Loop
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Betrayal
Written by Harold Pinter

Fires in the Mirror
Written by Anna Deavere Smith

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf
Written by Ntozake Shange

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
Written by Terrence McNally

A Soldier’s Play
Written by Charles Fuller

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Little Shop of Horrors
Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken

The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Book and New Lyrics by Dick Scanlan
Based on the Original Book by Richard Morris
Music Adapted by Michael Rafter

West Side Story
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Arthur Laurents
Based on a Conception by Jerome Robbins

JOHN GASSNER AWARD
(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)

Georgia Mertching Is Dead by Catya McMullen
Heroes of the Fourth Turning by Will Arbery
Our Dear Dead Drug Lord by Alexis Scheer
Pari sby Eboni Booth

OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Diablo Cody, Jagged Little Pill
David Henry Hwang, Soft Power
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Lynn Nottage, The Secret Life of Bees
Mark Saltzman, Romeo and Bernadette

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Susan Birkenhead and Duncan Sheik, The Secret Life of Bees
Ross Golan, The Wrong Man
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Dave Malloy, Octet
Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang, Soft Power

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
David Cromer, The Sound Inside
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance
Kenny Leon, A Soldier’s Play
Jamie Lloyd, Betrayal
John Ortiz, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
Stephen Brackett, A Strange Loop
Michael Mayer, Little Shop of Horrors
Diane Paulus, Jagged Little Pill
Alex Timbers,Moulin Rouge!
Ivo van Hove, West Side Story

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER
Sidi Larbi Cherakoui, Jagged Little Pill
Raja Feather Kelly, A Strange Loop
Sonya Tayeh,Moulin Rouge!
Anthony Van Laast, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Travis Wall, The Wrong Man

OUTSTANDING ORCHESTRATIONS
Tom Kitt, Jagged Little Pill
Alex Lacamoire, The Wrong Man
Justin Levine, with Matt Stine, Katie Kresek, and Charlie Rosen,Moulin Rouge!
Christopher Nightingale, A Christmas Carol
Duncan Sheik and John Clancy, The Secret Life of Bees

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Ian Barford, Linda Vista
Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements
Raúl Esparza, Seared
Tom Hiddleston, Betrayal
Will Hochman, The Sound Inside
Jonathan Pryce, The Height of the Storm

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Eileen Atkins, The Height of the Storm
Judith Ivey, Greater Clements
Joaquina Kalukango, Slave Play
April Matthis,Toni Stone
Mary-Louise Parker, The Sound Inside
Portia, Stew

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
David Alan Grier, A Soldier’s Play
John Benjamin Hickey, The Inheritance
Paul Hilton,The Inheritance
Samuel H. Levine, The Inheritance
John-Andrew Morrison, Blues for an Alabama Sky
Chris Perfetti, Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Liza Colón-Zayas, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Montego Glover, All the Natalie Portmans
Marsha Mason,Little Gem
Krysta Rodriguez, Seared
Lois Smith, The Inheritance
Jennifer Van Dyck, The Confession of Lily Dare

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE
David Cale, We’re Only Alive For a Short Amount of Time
Laura Linney, My Name Is Lucy Barton
Aedin Moloney, Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom
Deirdre O’Connell, Dana H.
Michael Benjamin Washington, Fires in the Mirror

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Jonathan Groff,Little Shop of Horrors
Joshua Henry, The Wrong Man
Adam Kantor, Darling Grenadine
Larry Owens, A Strange Loop
Isaac Powell, West Side Story
Aaron Tveit, Moulin Rouge!

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Beth Malone, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Janelle McDermoth, We’re Gonna Die
Karen Olivo, Moulin Rouge!
Shereen Pimentel, West Side Story
Elizabeth Stanley, Jagged Little Pill
Adrienne Warren, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Christian Borle,Little Shop of Horrors
Danny Burstein, Moulin Rouge!
Gus Halper, Sing Street
Jay Armstrong Johnson, Scotland, PA
Francis Jue, Soft Power
Daniel J. Watts, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Eisa Davis, The Secret Life of Bees
Kathryn Gallagher, Jagged Little Pill
LaChanze, The Secret Life of Bees
Judy McLane, Romeo & Bernadette
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill
Saycon Sengbloh, The Secret Life of Bees

OUTSTANDING SCENIC DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Rob Howell, A Christmas Carol
Tim Mackabee, Seared
Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge!
Clint Ramos, Grand Horizons
Anthony Ward,The Height of the Storm

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Vanessa Leuck, Emojiland
Jeff Mahshie, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
Mark Thompson, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Rachel Townsend & Jessica Jahn, The Confession of Lily Dare
Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge!

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Isabella Byrd, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Heather Gilbert, The Sound Inside
Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge!
Hugh Vanstone, A Christmas Carol
Hugh Vanstone, The Height of the Storm

OUTSTANDING PROJECTION DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Luke Halls, West Side Story
Brad Peterson, Broadway Bounty Hunter
Lisa Renkel and Possible Productions, Emojiland
Aaron Rhyne, The Sound Inside
Hannah Wasileski, Fires in the Mirror

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Simon Baker, A Christmas Carol
Mikhail Fiksel, Dana H.
Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge!
Lee Kinney and Sanae Yamada, Is This A Room
Daniel Kluger, The Sound Inside

Robin de Jesus to Star in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Directorial Debut Project “tick, tick…BOOM!”

Robin de Jesus’ career is in full boom

The 35-year-oldPuerto Rican actor and Broadway star has joined the cast of tick, tick…BOOM!, the feature directorial debut project from Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Robin de Jesus

de Jesus will star opposite Andrew GarfieldAlexandra Ship and Vanessa Hudgensin the Netflix adaptation based on the autobiographical Off-Broadwayshow written by the late Jonathan Larson.

The musical, written by Steven Levenson, is set in 1990 and will follow Jon (Garfield), an aspiring theater composer who waits tables in New York City while writing Superbia, which he hopes will be the great American musical that will finally give him his big career break. The young man is feeling pressure from his girlfriend Susan (Shipp), who is tired of continuing to put her life on hold for Jon’s career aspiration. Meanwhile, Jon’s best friend and roommate Michael has given up on his creative dream and has taken a high paying advertising job on Madison Avenue and is preparing to move out. As Jon approaches his 30th birthday, he is overcome with anxiety, wondering if his own impossible dream is worth the cost.

Miranda is producing with Brian GrazerRon Howard, and Julie Ohof Imagine EntertainmentJulie Larson, sister of Rentcreator Jonathan, will serve as an executive producer along with Levenson and Celia Costas.

de Jesusearned a Tony Award nomination for his performance on Miranda’s In the HeightsLa Cage aux Folles, and The Boys in the Band. He’s also starred in stage productions of Rentand Wicked.

Daphne Rubin-Vega to Appear on the CW’s Upcoming “Riverdale” Off-Shoot “Katy Keene”

Daphne Rubin-Vega has landed the mother of a role… 

The 49-year-old Panamanian actress, singer and dancerwill appear in a major recurring role on the CW’s upcoming Riverdale off-shoot Katy Keene.

Daphne Rubin-Vega

Rubin-Vega, the original Mimi in both the Off Broadway and Broadway landmark productions of Rentand coming off the Lin Manuel/Warner Bros. feature In The Heights, will play Luisa, the mother of a central character, Katy’s roomie Jorge/Ginger. She’s described as adoting mother, a former Rockette and now owner, with her husband Luis, of a bodega in Washington Heights. She supports her son Jorge’s ambitions to make it on Broadway, but doesn’t know about his drag alter ego, Ginger.

The Jorge/Ginger character, played by Jonny Beauchamp, is a central figure on the series and one of at least two characters expected to perform musical numbers on every episode.

In the Katy Keeneseries pilot, recently screened at the Tribeca TV Festival, Jorge is a Broadway hopeful by day and, as Ginger, a drag performer by night. When his Broadway dreams begin to fizzle – he is, he says, “too gay for Broadway” – he’s encouraged by Katy to make the audition rounds not as Jorge but as Ginger.

Katy Keeneis expected to debut during the CW’s winter/spring 2020 midseason.

Rubin-Vega was Tony-nominated in 1996 for originating on Broadway the lead female role of Mimi in Jonathan Larson’s Rent, which she’d debuted earlier that year Off Broadway to great acclaim. The actress received another Tony nomination in 2004 as featured actress in a play for Anna In The Tropics.

Her more recent credits include Broadway’s A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Blair UnderwoodNBC’s Smash and Netflix’s Tales Of The City. Ruben-Vega was among the original Rentperformers who made an end-of-show appearance on Fox’s Rent: Live last January.